Most often, we avoid looking at that reflection of our current habits. Why? Because change it hard (or we perceive it to be that way). We don’t want to admit to our faults or that we have struggles. We all have shame hidden in those dark corners of our being. We fear what we might find (or that others may no longer accept us) so we continue to suppress feelings, worry-some thoughts, or self-sabotaging behavior.
I always hear from people that they have good intentions to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle. Almost everyone has lofty goals about their health and fitness; we all want to feel our very best. Some of us are just expert procrastinators, but often, one of the key culprits which stops us from making the best choices is STRESS!
The next stop on our exploration of nutritional factors relating to depression are the family of vitamins known as the B Vitamin Complex (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, folate, biotin and pantothenic acid). They act as co-factors in key enzymes that help the body obtain energy from food and control the production and balance of neurotransmitters.
All of the B vitamins are what is known as water soluble. This means that they dissolve easily in water. They are NOT stored in the body and are eliminated in our urine. As such, we require a continuous daily supply in our diet. So what happens when we don’t obtain what we need from our diet?
Hypocrites said it best, “Let food be thy medicine”. What does this really mean? In our current culture, there is a pill for absolutely everything that ails us. Yet, many of us don’t know to look at the simplest of solutions: the plate in front of us. So what’s on your plate? Or rather, what ISN’T on your plate? Did you know that nutrition plays a vital role in the prevention AND treatment of depression?
Last month I was asked by my amazingly strong and talented friend Ashley to contribute to her Life is Sweet Project on her Dancing Through Life blog.
To honour the loss of her mother at the age of 14, Ashley put together a month of blog posts about people’s experiences with mental illness and loss. I was honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to such an incredible collective project, sharing my own struggle with depression.
Now, many of you may not have the opportunity to clear your schedule and spend the day on a farm. I’m sure that for some of you, even the thought of getting dirty and being on a farm may make you want to take another shower. So, my point here is to ensure that you incorporate things which light you up into your life.When you’re happy and excited, you’re so much less likely to turn to food for comfort.
All of those emotions can make us want to sneak into the freezer for another bowl of ice cream or raid the cupboard for just ONE MORE cookie (because it will make you feel better, right?). In the short term, it just might soothe those stressful emotions. Most often, we will feel guilty about eating all the ice cream or the whole bag of cookies. When this guilt pops up, the whole cycle will start over again.
Most often, we use food to suppress those uncomfortable emotions we are feeling. I love to discover the reason why we run to the fridge 20 times even though we’re not hungry or why we eat an entire carton of ice cream in one sitting. We’ve all been there! Usually there are all sorts of emotional junk hidden beneath the surface. The most fascinating thing about this is that often, NO ONE IS AWARE OF IT.
In my previous blog, The Future of Food – Part 1, I began discussing some of the statements made in Macleans Magazine, entitled “What You’ll be Eating Soon”. The article begins by taking a jab at ‘idealistic eaters’, such as myself, some nutritionists, urban farmers and homesteaders as a few examples. We believe that the world can feed itself, but in order to do this successfully we have to start taking matters into our own hands, beginning to grow at least some of our own food. Growing your own food and eating a largely plant-based diet is the most inexpensive route to go, but this article states that not everyone can afford to eat veggies. So what is one of the proposed solutions? “Frankenfood” aka Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
So the other day I read an article in Macleans magazine titled, “What You’ll Be Eating Soon”. It discusses the future of our food from a scientific point of view. It explains how meat will be grown in a petri-dish, and ‘junk-food’ will be made ‘healthier’. From my perspective as a nutritionist, and someone who cares deeply about the state of environment, this was a sad and scary article to read.